SAN Miguel Beer and TNT Katropa turn to the rest of their standouts with their stars focused on national duty when the two teams face off on Friday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Beermen are set to miss June Mar Fajardo for a few games as the three-time reigning MVP anchors Gilas Pilipinas in its campaign in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association Championship from May 12 to 18.
The Texters, though, are taking the biggest hit among the teams as they have released three players – Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, and Roger Pogoy – to the Gilas lineup for the Seaba.
Castro, however, believes the Texters, under Nash Racela, can do well without them, starting in the marquee matchup against the Beermen at 7 p.m.
“Confident naman ako na magi-istep-up yung teammates ko, kasi matagal na naman nilang alam na mga ilang games ako mawawala,” Castro said after Gilas practice on Thursday night. “Yung mga preparation at games namin before, parang medyo nasanay na sila.”
“Pag up na kami ng malaki, si coach Nash, pinapalaro na niya yung ibang guard namin para yung kumpiyanasa nila nandun pa rin,” he added. “May tiwala naman ako sa teammates ko na kaya nila.
Castro is convinced former Gilas standout Ranidel de Ocampo can readily shoulder more of the load and flash his vintage form, while recent trade acquisition RR Garcia will fill the void in his absence.
“Nandun naman sila Ranidel eh, captain ball namin. At the same time, may bago kaming guard na si RR,” Castro said. “Na-under naman rin siya kay coach Nash so alam na niya kung ano yung mga gusto ni coach Nash,”
“Alam naman natin kung ano ang kaya niyang gawin, ‘di ba?” he added. “Nandun yung scoring niya, at the same time, yung decision making niya maganda, so sana maganda yung laro niya against his former team pa.”
Garcia is expected to be extra motivated against the team that traded him in the Beermen, while trade partner Matt Ganuelas-Rosser is expected to be the same against the Texters.